Described as “a voice you want to hear and, even more, an artist you want to follow” (- New York Times), mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson has been at the forefront of innovation in operatic and concert performance for over 20 years. She is recognized as much for her artistic bravery as for the beauty and warmth of her voice. A graduate of The Juilliard School (where she was awarded the Taranow Prize in Voice and was the Winner of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Competition) and Barnard College, Brenda was at the Hamburg State Opera before continuing to La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera where she was on the roster for seven seasons. She has also appeared on the stages of Opera Colorado, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, New Orleans Opera and Florida Grand Opera among many others.
Brenda has performed most of the major lyric mezzo roles, such as Idamante, Octavian, Dorabella, Niklausse, Hänsel, Cherubino and Rosina, and has premiered over 30 vocal works. She is an official vocal consultant to the Composers-in-Residence of Opera Philadelphia, and leads a performance class that she co-created, “Voice for the Stage,” at the University of Virginia. She is also a co-founder of the pioneering, ensemble-based Victory Hall Opera in Charlottesville – now in its fourth season (“the future of the field” – Washington Post) – and the only singer in America to hold the title of Director of Music of an opera company. Her work with VHO has twice been awarded the Music Academy of the West’s Alumni Enterprise Award, a national $20,000 prize recognizing projects in the arts that are “revolutionary, daring and inspiring.”